By now, you may have heard of something called the “Cox® Technic” for back pain sufferers. It’s a highly-effective, safe, and popular method to reduce and relieve chronic back pain due to genetics or injury and is considered an optimal alternative to surgery.
A lot of doctors and chiropractors will suggest the method to patients without really explaining how it works. They throw around words like, “spinal manipulation”, “decompression”, and “flexion distraction” – words that can be scary if you don’t know how they work.
We’ve been getting a lot of questions in-office lately about how the Cox® Technic works, so we thought we would answer that question for you today.
What Causes Back Pain?
What is the Cox® Technic? To understand this, we first must explain what causes back pain.
At the heart of the technique is a deep understanding and targeting of lower back pain and leg pain and how they differ from pain felt elsewhere in the body. Lower back pain and leg pain are often caused by degeneration of the discs and the facet joints.
The question is: what comes first, the discs or the joints. It’s common to assume that our joints wear out and cause strain to the spinal discs, but it’s actually the other way around. The initial injury takes place in the discs which then causes strain to our joints.
The discs in our lower back are richly innervated, meaning they are very complex and contain many nerves. The fibres along the exterior of the disc are called annulus fibres; they act almost as shock absorbers for your spine by distributing weight evenly and protecting the inner nuclear pulposus of your spine from herniating.
These fibres are the most pain sensitive, and microscopic tears from improper bending, stretching or lifting often present as severe back pain that can also be felt in the buttocks or legs. What is initially thought of as a simple lumbar pull is often an injury to these fibres.
The next stage of back pain is arthrosis, also known as osteoarthritis. Before we can answer what is the Cox® Technic, we must first understand how the cartilage in our joints can deteriorate.
As the discs decay further, more and more pressure and weight will be carried by your facet joints – the joints in your spine that enable bending and twisting; each section of your vertebrae have two facet joints. Healthy facet joints have cartilage between them that allow the vertebrae to move without grinding together.
Your facet joints can really only carry about 20% of your daily weight load, but if your discs are damaged, that load is increased, which causes decay of the delicate cartilage. This leads to arthrosis.
It is estimated that 1 in 10 Canadians suffer from arthrosis (osteoarthritis). Women over 55 are the most affected and the majority of people over 70 are affected by arthrosis.
The Theory Behind Cox® Technic
Before we can answer what is Cox® Technic, it’s important to understand the theory behind it.
The Cox® Technic uses a specifically designed flexion-contraction decompression table. This table has moving sections at the base and head. The technique requires that the chiropractor apply pressure to the patient at all times.
The basic practice of the Cox® Technic calls for the doctor to apply pressure above the area of the injury and the other hand applies pressure on the table to move the section downward.
The theory behind the Cox® Technic is that the flexion-contraction of the discs creates a sort of vacuum that draws the fibres back into their central location between the discs, and allows nutrients to flow back into the discs to aid in healing.
The combination of pressure and gentle decompression of the Cox® Technic pulls the discs away from one another and relieves the compaction felt in the cartilage of the joints.
After your session, you’ll be given an at-home exercise plan and should avoid sitting, lifting, bending, or twisting.
The Benefits of Cox® Technic
The Cox® Technic is based on numerous studies and countless clinical trials and has been proven time and time again as the most effective non-surgical option for back pain and leg pain.
When the spine is put into flexion with applied pressure protrusion of the discs into the intraspinal space – the space between the spinal cord and disc; a herniated disc will slip into this space can “pinch” the spinal cord – is greatly decreased.
The ligamenta flava is also stretched, reducing disc bulge into the spinal canal. Your ligamenta flava is responsible for preserving posture and returning the vertebrae to an upright position after flexion. Intradiscal pressure is greatly reduced because of this and therefore reduces the strain on the facet joints and cartilage.
With regular treatments you can expect:
- Increased space in the intervertebral disc
- Decreased pressure within the disc space to aid healing of a disc herniation
- Increased nerve openings in the spine to reduce pressure on pinched nerves
- Restored range of motion
At Motion 4 Life, we’re skilled and certified in the Cox® Technic and have been providing it to our patients for years with great success. Even the smallest of back injuries can result in big problems down the road. So if you’re experiencing ANY recurring back pain, call us for a free consultation to see if the Cox® Technic can help you live a pain-free life.